St Albans City and Whitehawk will go again in the FA Trophy after south-coast draw

Louie Theophanous has a shot at goal. Picture: LEIGH PAGE

Louie Theophanous has a shot at goal. Picture: LEIGH PAGE - Credit: Archant

A late equaliser by Whitehawk cancelled out a Louie Theophanous thunderbolt as St Albans City were held to a 1-1 draw in the FA Trophy at The Enclosed Ground.

City’s top-scorer scored a beauty with 11 minutes to go, flicking the ball up before turning and volleying home.

But Wilfred Tagbo levelled in the 90th minute to ensure the two sides will do it all over again on Tuesday night at Clarence Park.

In truth it was probably a fair result.

Junior Morias had the best chance early on for Saints, forcing a smart block by Ross Flitney and he also sent a header inches wide from a Lee Chappell cross.

Whitehawk’s best effort came after just 60 seconds when Danny Mills pinched the ball, chipped it to the back post but a stretching Segio Torres couldn’t get any power on it.

Mills also headed wide under pressure from Josh Hill and the St Albans centre-half produced a great sliding block-tackle to stop the lanky Hawk striker from scoring later in the half.

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It was also noticeable that Saints turned down a number of long-throw chances from good field positions.

Chappell certainly didn’t seem injured; his work-rate around the park was its usual self & he almost scored from a Louie Theophanous pull-back, but failed to get a good connection on it.

As the half drew to a close, City claimed a goal.

A corner from the left was flicked on and forced Dan Harding to head clear off the line. The fact his header went up first, off the bar and then out caused some to question whether it had crossed the line.

In truth it would have been tough for the referee to give it.

The start of the second half saw City at sixes and sevens and Whitehawk had three glorious chances before the clock hit the hour mark.

Mills and Tagbo were the guilty pair. Mills had time and space in the box to force James Russell into a brave stop; then Mills missed a rebound after Russell had got a hand to a Tagbo shot.

The pair then contrived to allow Russell into a third good stop as the City defence appealed in vain for offside.

City did have one good chance in the opening spell, Marvin Hamilton making a great clearance off the line to deny Theophanous.

And once they overcame that dangerous Hawk spell, they got back to controling possession without truly testing Flitney.

It looked as if City would avoid the need for a replay with Theophanous’ stunner but up popped Tagbo in the last minute of normal time, meaning we’ll do it all over again on Tuesday night.

City: Russell, Herd, Bender, Chappell, Martin, Hill, Lucien (Merson 84), Thomas, Theophanous, Morias (Ball 90+3), Noble (Akinyemi 84)

Subs (not used): Swales, Casey

Goals: Theophanous 79

Whitehawk: Flitney, Hamilton, Harding, Strevens, Marimon, Reid, Abdulla, Torres (Masterton 74), Mills, Tagbo, Southam

Subs (not used): Covolan, West, M’Boungou, Favarel

Goals: Tagbo 90

HT: Whitehawk 0 St Albans City 0

Referee: Paul Kelly

Attendance: 236